Oregon: County cuts jobs of five managers


The Oregonian


Multnomah County, Oregon - Multnomah County's new director of the Department of County Human Services has cut five administrative jobs, two of them as of Friday, as part of a restructuring to accommodate constant budget reductions.

Howard Klink, manager of the Division of Developmental Disabilities Services and a county employee since 1986, and Don Carlson, manager of Business Services, lost their jobs Friday.

Long-time employee James McConnell, who served as interim director of County Human Services last year, is retiring June 30 as head of the Division of Aging and Disability Services. His position will not be filled.

In addition, two temporary department manager jobs will end. Stevie Bullock will leave March 14, and Rosemary Celaya Alston will leave by June 30, the end of the fiscal year.

In a Friday memo to employees, department director Patricia Pate said the jobs were cut as part of a department realignment for efficiency, cost savings, and because of state and county budget cuts. Because county human services has had to eliminate full-time employee positions last year and this -- more than 125 jobs lost -- "management must shrink as well," Pate said.

Pate, who took her job Jan. 15, said cutting the management jobs would allow the department to redirect $571,000 into direct services to residents. Pate, Klink and Carlson could not be reached for comment Friday.

Almost every county department has lost employees through a series of state cuts and three years of constrained county general fund budgets. By the time state Measure 28 failed, about 330 employees had lost jobs. More cuts are expected this year because of both state and county reductions.

In the memo, Pate said that two remaining managers would take on transition responsibilities for the services of the Aging and Disabilities and Developmental Disabilities divisions.

"This is not the end of the changes to come, as I now must build a small director's office that can help us move forward," Pate told employees. She said she will seek outside revenue and changes to Medicaid billing.

"I will keep you informed of the job opportunities as they become available and encourage you to consider your options as these positions are announced." Janet Christ: 503-294-5032; janetchrist@news.oregonian.com


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